Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Video poker

My friend Iggy posted a link to this story on Twitter. It's fascinating. Two guys discovered a bug in the programming of a ubiquitous video poker machine, and exploited it for hundreds of thousands of dollars before being caught. They were criminally charged, but eventually the charges were dropped because it's unclear that they did anything illegal. (FWIW, I agree. If a machine has a glitch that allows a player to get payouts just by pressing the right sequence of buttons--no monkeying with the machine's mechanisms or programming--it isn't cheating or fraud.) Long, but well worth a read.



Pete said...

I read about this before with more detail about the bug. Its not that they found a pattern to winning .... they found a way to basically past post the video poker machine changing the amount wagered after the results were in. Here is the link http://www.wired.com/2013/05/game-king/

"Kane began by selecting a game, like Triple Double Bonus Poker, and playing it at the lowest denomination the machine allows, like the $1.00 level. He kept playing, until he won a high payout, like the $820 at the Silverton.

Then he’d immediately switch to a different game variation, like straight “Draw Poker.” He’d play Draw Poker until he scored a win of any amount at all. The point of this play was to get the machine to offer a “double-up”, which lets the player put his winnings up to simple high-card-wins draw. Through whatever twist of code caused the bug, the appearance of the double-up invitation was critical. Machines that didn’t have the option enabled were immune.

At that point Kane would put more cash, or a voucher, into the machine, then exit the Draw Poker game and switch the denomination to the game maximum — $10 in the Silverton game.

Now when Kane returned to Triple Double Bonus Poker, he’d find his previous $820 win was still showing. He could press the cash-out button from this screen, and the machine would re-award the jackpot. Better yet, it would re-calculate the win at the new denomination level, giving him a hand-payout of $8,200."

To me this was clearly fraud and theft. They knew that they had not played the hand at that denomination. They didn;t find a way to win ... they found a way to get the machine to pay them more than they were entitled to for their win.

They are thieves not victims

Tony Bigcharles said...

funny thing, right before i seen this i posted the same link on RTP. and i basically agreed with ur opinion i didnt see it as cheating. go look

Lester said...

The guy in PPP's neck of the woods got Al-Capowned...

He didn't pay his taxes.

The musical type in LV got off the hook cleanly though it looked like.

Unknown said...


I'm a bit surprised at your views on this case, particularly given your very firm view on soft playing friends at the table...